The Internship: Google Film Review, for Marketers

Thanks to a different sneak preview of The Internship last night — hosted by the Dallas/Fort Worth Seo Association — i used to be ready to view the recent film that was set at Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, a.k.a. the “Googleplex.” i used to be particularly interested to work out whether the film revealed anything new or noteworthy about Google from an online marketing perspective.

The Internship is a new film starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson about Google Interns.

The Internship is a brand new film starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson about Google interns.

In the film, two salesmen from an eye company, Billy McMahon and Nick Campbell — played by Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson — are left unemployed when the watch company they worked for abruptly went into bankruptcy, apparently obviated by people switching to observe their cellphones to inform time in preference to taking a look at watches. Feeling inadequate for the contemporary job market because of an absence of skills, they discover the unconventional concept that working for Google as interns would help them develop marketable skills, and will perhaps segue into jobs with an excellent, robust company.

Forty-something Interns

The film depends heavily at the comedy supplied by the mismatch of forty-something men getting accepted into Google’s highly competitive intern program with a pack of smart, college-age kids. The 2 salesmen are older — read “out of touch with latest online trends” — world-weary, street smart, and extroverted. The interns around them are young, immersed in geek culture, high-IQ “gifted program” students, and introverted.

The overall storyline is predictable — in truth, it’s rather like the plot of an old John Hughes movie from the eighties: a number of outsiders are inserted right into a microcosm, they encounter distrust and ill treatment initially from everyone — particularly from a couple of mean-spirited people, they win over the hearts of some good-character people, they fight against great odds in some competition, they ultimately pull out a victory through exertions and backbone, and so they find some love interests along the style.

From a web marketing perspective, there have been many stuff that were interesting and entertaining in regards to the film. It was apparently made with lots of cooperation from Google, to the purpose where Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land refers to it as “a beautiful Google commercial.” Indeed, that’s — the film segments include shots from around Google’s headquarters and highlights many of the things where has long been known for, akin to free food from various internal eateries, people riding Google-supplied bikes round the company’s Mountain View, California campus, and playing volleyball within the courtyard between the buildings. I’ve visited the Googleplex various times and eaten of their cafes, and the representation is actually accurate. i used to be surprised, however, to benefit that some portions of The Internship were filmed at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The playfulness of Google facilities have been widely reported-on up to now, and everything about their buildings and grounds within the film rang true compared with my visits to their properties until now.

Google facility, Dallas - photo by Chris Silver Smith © 2007

Google facility, Dallas – photo by Chris Silver Smith © 2007

Google must’ve exercised some considerable degree of influence over the way it was portrayed within the film, since the company was presented in just the main positive of how — to the purpose where many other reviewers are saying that “Google takes on an oz.-like status” inside the film or that “Google stands in for the Emerald City.” The film does show the idyllic environment that the corporate has endeavored to embody — empowered people, from varied backgrounds collaborating together in an attractive and fun place to create worthwhile search engine and innovative products. Almost from inception, Google has tried to create a lighthearted workplace, and until now the power was sometimes jokingly referred-to as “daycare for IT workers.”

The Google Culture

Google has numerous focus around intangibles linked to their corporate culture, and the movie touched upon a lot of these. The thought of being “Googley” was even a small plot point, even though it wasn’t defined all that totally — the significance of diversity in hiring, desiring “out-of-the-box” thinking and approaches, ethics, and fostering an inventive workplace — the toys which are so iconic in making where “Oz-like” — were probably the most highlights. Yet, when you’ve got read John Battelle’s The quest, you’ll know that Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page were, early on, borderline obsessed with preserving their unique, collegial culture, and hiring top-quality candidates.

Years have passed because the early days inside the company, and Google’s intern programs are somewhat exceptions to this rule. But, there have been still some vestiges of those hiring goals present in the movie plot. The interns were selected by committee vote, assigned to different Google managers to be mentored, and were encouraged to find other employees to be told things from all alone. Owen Wilson’s character does this with a view to attempt to date a feminine employee, and just happens to benefit some HTML 5 along the way in which.

What doesn’t seem represented is Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” philosophy, although it’s perhaps alluded-to by the truth that the bullying, witheringly insulting overachiever intern character is ultimately unsuccessful, compared with the friendlier pair of old salesmen interns. They get a task out of the intern experience, while the bully doesn’t.

Unfortunately, while Google was renowned for some innovative hiring programs, including deploying a string of mind-bending puzzles to resolve to be able to get jobs in addition to the more conventional approach to bringing interns in to choose and harvest as future employees, one has to suppose that candidates must first solve the questions so as to qualify for initial entry — Google not just wants innovative thinkers and nice folks that play well on teams, but people that can actually get things right. So, scenes where the 2 main characters try to resolve certainly one of their team’s challenges of debugging a program that has two million lines of code by attempting to first find the programmer and persuade him to inform them what was wrong seems too preposterous to believe.

Contact information for Places for Business does not include phone support.

Contact information for Google Places doesn’t include phone support.

From an online marketing viewpoint, one of the most unbelievable, fictional piece of the film is the intern challenge to man the “Google Help Line,” a telephone support line. The interns are expected to benefit enough a couple of set of Google products so that you can help troubleshoot and solve real Google users’ problems after they call right into a support center. While the IT support center is a mainstay of an awesome many technology companies, it’s under no circumstances part of Google, which has always rather obstinately refused to create a phone help support line, insisting that users read help pages or submit inquiries to online group forums where intermittently Googlers might answer a matter directly, however the majority of queries are answered by other general members of the community. As an instance, when you have a business listing in Google Places and something is incorrect with it, Google’s help section tantalizingly offers a link for “Contact options,” nevertheless it only links to aid pages to read and to the community forum. Google’s advertising product, AdWords, offers a phone help line, but i think that’s the sole portion of Google that does — not one of the other products, corresponding to Chrome or anything mentioned within the Internship have any kind of tech support.

Phone Support is available for Google AdWords only.

Phone Support is offered for Google AdWords only.

The worst parts of the film seemed fairly misogynistic and will be offensive to girls. Perhaps attempting to exploit one of the most kinds of humor that Vaughn and Wilson used successfully within the Wedding Crashers, their two sales characters take their intern team out in town to decompress and build camaraderie. They grow to be going to a strip club in a sequence of scenes that appear misplaced within the film, and never very believable. Vaughn was earlier quoted as saying in regards to the film, “It’s fun to return and perform a little R-rated comedies again.” Perhaps these scenes were intended to offer the major R-rated material, although the film is purely PG-13. I’m wondering if there have been some R-rated scenes which will has been edited out. The shots and humor across the lap dances were pretty inappropriate, and the interns became extremely drunk, calling into question whether their programmer can have realistically built the mobile app their team needed that very same night for his or her project. While the club scenes happened clear of Google, one feels a chunk concerned that the interns’ behavior around that evening may have easily become a firing offense — pure nightmare fuel for any HR professionals who might see the film — and doubtless not a very good portrayal of the intern program.

No Search Engine

From a search engine optimisation perspective, the most important omission was material around Google’s most critical asset — the hunt engine. It’s surprising there wasn’t more discussion around it, or some glimpses in any respect the moving parts and processes behind making it work. No armies of server machines, chugging away inside the background, nor explanation of the famous PageRank algorithm, nor display of ranks of cubicles where real live humans must work daily at auditing and ranking search results or policing for spam. It’s as if the largest, most-important portion of Google was completely invisible. This was the foremost Oz-like portion of the movie for me — ignore that man backstage with all of the machinery and instead focus only at the face of the Google search form.


In all, it’s a superficial film with a really predictable plot. It’s entertaining for that, with some comedic moments sprinkled throughout which are entertaining. From a web marketer’s perspective, the film would be disappointing in the event you hoped to be told any of the “secret sauce” that goes on behind the curtain. If you’ve read up on Google through the years, there won’t be any new revelations. The intern program and team projects seem mostly believable, but not particularly illuminating. But, if you’re going strictly for the entertainment value, there are enough familiar reference points to make it very enjoyable.